Jeopardy! (partially lost "Barbara Lowe" episodes of quiz show; 1986)

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Jeopardy Intro - February 1986 - YouTube - 1-05.jpeg

The set from 1986.

Status: Partially Lost

The American quiz show Jeopardy! has an unknown amount of missing episodes (most of them are from the original NBC series hosted by Art Fleming that ran from 1964 to 1975 and 1978 to 1979). The current series, which began airing in 1984, has mostly all its episodes archived and reran. However, five episodes from the Alex Trebek era (which lasted from 1984 to 2021) have not aired since their original broadcasts in 1986.


These episodes featured a female contestant named Barbara Lowe (at least what she said to producers) who won five days on the quiz show during the show's second season from March 6th, 1986, to March 12th, 1986.[1]

However, she was disqualified from that year's Tournament of Champions early in the show's third season[2] because it was later revealed that she was ineligible and that she appeared on the game shows Wheel of Fortune in 1976, It's Anybody's Guess in 1977, and Bullseye in 1981 (the latter two were already off the air for 7 and 2 years, respectively, by the time of Jeopardy!'s current run that began in 1984). Prior to her Jeopardy! appearances she used different aliases and lied about her name (her real name is unknown).[3][4][5][6]

The amount of money won by Barbara during those five games is unknown, but Harry Eisenberg (the show's producer and head writer for the first 7 years of Jeopardy!'s revival who had a history of altering the show's game material to provide easier clues for female contestants)[7] stated in his 1993 book Inside Jeopardy!: A Revealing Look Inside TV's Top Quiz Show that Barbara won "approximately $50,000" (This is not true as Barbara Lowe won $35,192 during her five appearances on Jeopardy! according to the J! Archive).[8] Her winnings were withheld, and she threatened to sue Merv Griffin Enterprises and KingWorld Productions and ended up receiving her winnings, but she ended up being banned from any future tournaments on the show.[9]

She also reportedly bounced and fidgeted behind her podium, arguing with Alex Trebek (the show's now-deceased host) over incorrect answers and was very ignorant to the other contestants, in which Clint Swett stated in a 1986 The Sacramento Bee article as "so bubbly you could almost hear her fizz."[10][11]

In May 2023, Barbara Lowe would set the record straight about her Jeopardy! appearance and stated that during her second tape day, she developed a nasty case of gastroenteritis and that midway through taping her second game, she felt a terrible rumble in her stomach, and that Alex Trebek said to her that she was costing the show time and money for it. She would also reveal that her stomach ailment had cost the program thousands of dollars, and that the show was trying to recoup that by withholding her winnings.[12]


The current series of Jeopardy has been rerun over the years, either during the summer, on Game Show Network, or on streaming services (like Netflix and Pluto TV), but Barbara's episodes have not been rerun since they last aired, even when Game Show Network started re-airing episodes from Jeopardy's second season in the 1990's or when the show launched a 24-hour streaming radio program and Pluto TV channel in 2022 or in markets where affiliate stations play reruns on the weekends. Many episodes have surfaced online on sites over the years like YouTube and Internet Archive, and even Barbara's episodes haven't appeared online.

So far, as of 2023, the only surviving footage of her run is a sixty-seven-second clip of the Final Jeopardy! round of her second game (March 7th, 1986) that was uploaded to YouTube by user TPiJ290 on May 1st, 2020, but is unlisted but still viewable as of the writing of this article. Data from Barbara's episodes were found by the National Archives of Game Show History from a longtime Jeopardy! fan from a collection of 108 VHS cassettes containing 896 episodes of the show's first seven seasons (from 1984 to 1991) and subsequently added to the J! Archive on December 15th, 2022.[13]

On February 15th, 2024, the Museum of Classic Chicago Television YouTube channel uploaded the 5th episode of Barbara Lowe's game runs on Jeopardy that aired on March 12th, 1986. This is the only episode from her run that has resurfaced online.



Jeopardy! (March 12th, 1986).


Footage of Barbara Lowe's run on Jeopardy! from March 7th, 1986.

1987 news report about Jeopardy! featuring Lowe.

1986 promo featuring footage from Lowe's first appearance.


BrayBray's video on the subject.

BrayBray's follow up video on the subject.

See Also

External Link


  1. 1986 The Sacramento Bee article on Barbara Lowe (part 1). Retrieved 28 May '23
  2. 1990 Deseret News article detailing Barbara Lowe's disqualification from the 1985 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions. Retrieved 18 Jul '22
  3. Inside Jeopardy!: A Revealing Look Inside TV's Top Quiz Show. Florida: Frederick Fell Publishers, Inc. p. 269. Retrieved 18 Jul '22
  4. 2004 The Game Show Forum page detailing Barbara Lowe being the highest winner in Bullseye's history. Retrieved 18 Jul '22
  5. 1987 Courier-Post article detailing Barbara Lowe's game show appearances. Retrieved 28 May '23
  6. 2009 Game Show News Net article on Barbara Lowe lying about her real name to get on Jeopardy! Retrieved 28 May '23
  7. 1993 UPI article on Harry Eisenberg's book Inside Jeopardy!: A Revealing Look Inside TV's Top Quiz Show. Retrieved 28 May '23
  8. Page of Harry Eisenberg's 1993 book Inside Jeopardy!: A Revealing Look Inside TV's Top Quiz Show detailing how much money Barbara Lowe approximately won. Retrieved 18 Jul '22
  9. Inside Jeopardy!: A Revealing Look Inside TV's Top Quiz Show. Florida: Frederick Fell Publishers, Inc. p. 268. Retrieved 18 Jul '22
  10. Inside Jeopardy!: A Revealing Look Inside TV's Top Quiz Show. Florida: Frederick Fell Publishers, Inc. p. 267. Retrieved 18 Jul '22
  11. 1986 The Sacramento Bee article on Barbara Lowe (part 2). Retrieved 28 May '23
  12. Giant Freakin Robot article on Barbara Lowe setting the record straight about her Jeopardy! appearance Retrieved 6 Jun '23
  13. Barbara Lowe's profile on J! Archive. Retrieved 15 Dec '22